Opening of Jehlum valley road one of the biggest CBM: PDP

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Srinagar, Oct 20 (UNI) Declaring the opening of Jehlum valley and Poonch-Rawlakote roads as an unprecedented move, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said the people of Jammu and Kashmir must gain uncontrolled access to its resources and harness the same for its socio-economic benefits.

Without saying anything on ensuing general assembly elections in the state, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the PDP adopted a resolution.

The meeting was presided over by the party President Mehbooba Mufti, a PDP spokesman said.

The opening of Srinagar-Muzafarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote roads for trade is a step of unprecedented wisdom and courage that the two countries have displayed in the recent history.

It is the second most significant and historic Confidence Building Measure (CBM) after the launch of cross-LoC bus service on April 7, 2005, the resolution said.

The resolution said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rightly pointed out during his recent visit to the state that history will judge how big these steps were.

The PDP, on this solemn but historic occasion, offers glowing tributes to all those whose supreme sacrifices made this great moment possible for the people of the State across the divide, it said.

It also said ''while the Prime Minister recently reiterated the commitment to ensure that the special identity of Jammu and Kashmir and its people is kept intact, we deserve a special place in the hearts and minds of the entire region as well.'' While opening of cross-LoC routes for travel and trade is a major landmark towards the accomplishment of the vision of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir, a lot more is to be achieved to undo the injustices of the past.

Not only the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to move across the borders -- unfettered and hassle-free -- is to be restored, steps have to be taken to empower them politically, economically, socially and administratively.

The resolution said Jammu and Kashmir must gain uncontrolled access to its resources and harness the same for its socio-economic benefits.

''We will need our traditional road links with the outside world restored fully, not only through Kashmir but Jammu and Ladakh regions as well,'' the Party said in the resolution.

''PDP visualizes a space of dignity, opportunity and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir in a paradigm of friendship between India and Pakistan.'' It said PDP resolves that it will not only continue, but escalate and expand its endeavour to mobilize public opinion in the State and the region for undertaking greater CBMs to find substantial solution to the problems of Jammu and Kashmir in tune with the reasonable and legitimate aspirations of its people.

UNI BAS AKJ HT1742

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